Lynette T. 7th Ward, New Orleans
from the 7th Ward, and I was raised in New Orleans.
I was raised and born in New Orleans. I worked
as a babysitter. Went to school there, finished
the 10th grade. Went to Warren Easton High School.
At the age of 17, I decided to go to Job Corps,
but so far I didn't make it there, so, I wound
up getting pregnant with my first daughter, which
is named Dionnka T.
About three days before the hurricane, I wound
up moving. The house it flooded before we even
really got to move in. So me and my husband, went
to a hotel, and we got stuck on the 3rd floor.
On Tulane Avenue: Economy Hotel. We got stuck
on the third floor, we stayed there about, ooh,
maybe about 4 days. Till the rescue team came
and got us, brought us on a boat, put us on a
bus. It was the National Guard.
AIT: Did they tell you it was time to leave?
And everybody have to get out, yeah. We wanted
to stay. We thought maybe the water was going
to go down. We didn't know it was that damaged.
You know, all over the city because for days we
couldn't get out, you know, go nowhere, because
of the flood. So they took us, we got on the bus,
took us to a bus, took us to the Louis Armstrong
airport, and flew us here to Austin. Mm-hm.
Because I seen so much, so much happening, hearing
so much happening...I was devastated. I was walking
in the water, trying to find a way, you know,
to get out? And I coulda sworn I felt a body,
or, something...somebody's body wrapped around my
leg! But I know it couldn'ta been true! [laughing]
We were trying to leave the hotel so we could
find something, you know...something. A grocery
store, or anything where, you know, something
to eat and drink. We had some, a little few foods,
for a few days...we knew it wouldn't last. Few canned
goods, chips, few cold drinks, few water. We needed
grocery. Mm-hm, change of clothes, you know, and
stuff like that.
And everything was all banged up, so we, you know,
I went back upstairs, so we stayed up there about
But other than that, God was good, God blessed
us. He really did, He blessed us. And right now,
I could see that he did this for a reason. You
know, to change lives. Because so much was going
on, in New Orleans, so much. Killing, drugging,
and you know, corruption in the cops. You know,
children getting killed, bystanders. You know,
just, just, just full. It's something you wouldn't
imagine. You know? But from New Orleans to here
is a big different world. It's a whole different
world The people here are beautiful, wonderful.
They're so nice, everywhere you turn. You turn
your back, everybody speaks to you. You know,
they're concerned, like they care about youâ€¹it
makes you feel so good, that you still got people,
you know, around that cares about you. It doesn't
matter the race, or nationality, or anything.
And I cried many days, but you know, as long as
I got the Lord in my life, you know, giving me
the strength, I know I'm going to make it. I know
I'm going to make it. Yes ma'am.
AIT: Is there anything else you would like people
Oh, I would like them to know: Come to Austin,
or visit Austin, and check out what a wonderful
state it is, Texas. Is beautiful. I thank y'all
very much. And for having me here. Yeah, it makes
me feel strong. Never thought I would have to
go through nothing like this in all my life, days
of my life. But it's wonderful. And I survived...I'm
a survivor. It's a change, a big change...big, beautiful
change. I see myself working, working here, and
just living a new life. Building a new life for
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